Cell reprogramming could be the antidote for millions of glaucoma patients and patients of other macular degeneration eye diseases. In the technique of cell reprogramming, retina cells are reprogrammed to become stem cells. This aspect makes these cells start producing new neurons. Therefore, the production of new neurons indicates a potential reverse of formerly irreversible damage. Sugarland Eye & Laser Center in Houston is following such developments. Any breakthrough and verified treatment option finds its way to this center and helps restore life and confidence to thousands of patients.
The retina is a place where different types of cells are found. Not just neurons, there are support cells as well. Called glial cells, these support cells support the structure of the eye. Additionally, they keep the chemical balance of retinal neurons at the optimal level. New research indicates that glial cells have the potential of being reprogrammed to stem cells. It can be made to proliferate and turn into neurons. It is evident that breakthroughs in this research can pave the way for better regenerative medicine.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of permanent blindness. Nearly everyone is at risk. Many treatment options are available including LASIK to control the disease. More common in older people, recently it has been detected in babies. It is estimated that about 3 million people in the US have glaucoma. This is a staggering number.
Glaucoma is a disease in which excessive pressure induces the retinal ganglion cells to degenerate. If preventive treatment is not undertaken at appropriate time, there is permanent damage to the optic nerve. The result is partial or total loss of vision.
The research team initially took sampler skin cells. These were from patients who had inherited glaucoma. Samples were also taken from healthy volunteers. The cells were genetically reprogrammed into stem cells. The medical term used to describe the state of these stem cells is pluripotent. From this state, stem cells could be reprogrammed to any type of cell. The researchers then induced the stem cells in pluripotent state to turn into retinal ganglion cells.
One observation from the study was that retinal ganglion cells from stems cells of patients with inherited glaucoma were similar to retinal ganglion cells from stems cells of healthy patients. This discovery could lead to new research in the areas of macular degeneration. It could pave the way to a permanent solution in the coming years. It opens the doors to personalized and specialized laser eye surgery with the new treatment methodology backing the procedures.
Sugarland Eye & Laser Center will embark on this change if it succeeds and also implement the solution faster than most eye clinics. At the forefront of innovation, this eye clinic is faster to adopt to new technologies, delivering successful and safe results. At the helm are venerated group of eye specialists and surgeons who have completed hundreds of successful eye surgeries.
Sugarland Eye & Laser Center leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Sugar Land Eye & Laser Center, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478.